Everyone is so negative and doubtful. I am staying postive until the free month of play is over. The place holders are to obvious and even promotional material release by SE shows things not yet in the game, cutscenes, quest, etc.
There are Chocobo placeholders, Airship placeholders, small city like areas close to every major city, new town and guild area place holders, etc. This is content that is activly being worked on NOW and will be released. Not content they plan to start to develope someday... SE has a long history of playing it tight lipped until it something is 100% ready and they often do not hint at anything until it is 100%, nor do they release it.
This may not be the patch that adds in a lot of the updates and "in development" content and fixes, but they are coming.
On 5/16/2002 FFXI went on sale and service began. The job max was 50, there where no NMs, No Auction House, and many jobs we no in FFXI, including SMN where not in the game at all. There where so many server issues, disconnects, etc. that they extended the free play month to make up for all the issues which they eventually fixed.
On 5/23/2002 they did a small patch, with 2 really small and insignificant quick fixes... sound familiar yet?
On 6/11/2002 The first major update was released, less than a month after service began. This saw the implementation of the Auction House, Notorious Monsters, HQ Crafting results, and a bunch of fixes and adjustments. The first of many such changes.
FFXIV is NOT FFXI. You can not say that because these things have been done right in FFXI for 8 years now, they should have been in to start FFXIV off with. FFXIV is a completely new game with new features, a new engine, and a lot of programing differences and challenges. It is not simply reusing code with minor updates... Any programmer should know this. You may be able, as a programmer/dev, to look at FFXI and say that this works great and we want it in FFXIV but that is just the start of the process, you still have to make it FFXIV compatible.
The first 4 months of FFXI in JP saw a major patch every month and numerous other small patch fixes and improvements as well. The 50 cap was also raised be 5 levels as well, and all of this was, free content, of course. I am willing to bet that the devs where just a tight lipped back then as well, and that a bunch of these issues where complained about up to the fix, then new issues where complained about after as well. Thus is the life of a MMO. FFXIV is a new born baby and has not let learned to craw, let alone run yet. Life has just begun, and the game is far from dead. SE may never hit WoW sub numbers and may even suffer some sub loss due to day 1 problems turning people off, but they do still have time to fix many of the issues before they completely alienate their fans. They also have the money and power to do so if they choose, especially with the PS3 version yet to be released... Not to mention the next Xbox and the PS4, etc. What they lose on PC due to release issues, they can make up if they do it properly. I for one, choose to have faith for now... that may make me a fanboy, but I am playing for free right now and enjoying all my time in game as well, despite all the issues.